Audiogon Is Still Relevent...Don't Listen to the Naysayers.

I've read many comments on here about all the negative aspects of Audiogon. The trolls and snarky comments do seem to be becoming more numerous, but there is still good information to be found here. I have been back in the audio world for about two years now and I found Audiogon soon after I purchased my first mistakes. I have since been scouring old threads and I've found that if you read enough of them, you start to see a consensus of what is good and what is crap. Reading one thread usually won't do it. Searching related threads and reading many threads seems to be the best way to glean the wheat from the chaff. By doing that you also gain respect for the members on Audiogon that really love this hobby and, while you may not agree with them all of the time, generally provide sound advice. I still read reviews online about products, but I will always come here and search opinions. I have upgraded my system a few times since joining Audiogon and each time I was very happy with the results. I recently posted a thread asking about the Cambridge Audio CXC and if it would be better than using my Cambridge Azur 651C as a transport.  I received a few comments and one in particular caught my eye. It was from a member who has posted positive Cambridge Audio comments in the past and in this comment he suggested the Audiolab 6000CDT. I researched the 6000CDT and there were very positive reviews from users and professional reviewers. I ordered one and received it yesterday. Right out of the box it sounded better than the 651C. I think I will be even happier when I get a few hours on it. Other purchases that I've been happy with, and Audiogon played a part in the decision, were my Hegel H390 integrated and my Focal Aria 936s. So, I'll keep reading the threads. I hope all of you true enthusiasts never stop posting, there are people out here reading and learning!
Can’t agree with OP at all. 

This place is an audio enthusiast graveyard echo chamber. There are a couple hundred frequent posters, and half of them have a financial interest in influencing the purchasing of the other the rest. 
Totally agree. This site can be a great resource. I have searched old discussions to make upgrade decisions in my journey for better sound quality. Many knowledgeable audio enthusiasts here. Everyone has a different “flavor” they seek in the sound of their systems. I like the warmth of tubes. Others prefer the crispness of class D. It isn’t a matter of right or wrong. Just a preference. I watch for posts that more closely relate to my preferences when reading posts. Posts that are not in line with my preferences are still informative and I read to increase my knowledge of high end audio. No need for bashing. We all share the passion. 

     I hang around here because I'm retired, suddenly have extra time on my hands and have nothing better to do.
    My impression is that I'm a fairly typical Audiogon member; born in the 1950's, became very interested in music and the gear to reproduce it well in high school in the mid 1970's, added video in-home reproduction to my interests during college in the late 1970's and began building my 1st serious home a/v systems after graduating, getting my 1st serious job and having much more disposable income.
     I believe the sad reality is that many of us built our 1st decent audio systems, of course with vinyl as the source if you're about my age, when we had little money but big aspirations. If we stay interested in the hobby, it then typically takes a substantial increase in income or several years to truly build one's first high quality audio or a/v system.
     I remember religiously reading every issue of Stereophile cover to cover in the 1980's, back when it came in a small book-like form, and daydreaming about my ideal system if I won the Lotto or saved enough disposable income. But I also was daydreaming about assembling the best system I could given my actual limited budget,
      I think it's still possible for a newbie to build a very good quality system on a limited budget but it takes a learning curve and/or some good advice from a knowledgeable and experienced source, a willingness to buy used gear, a certain minimum requirement of intelligence. common sense and determination to do it well.
     As I look back on my a/v system building journey, now much older and gimpier, I can clearly make sense of my journey and progression in a/v system quality level from highly questionable to my current system that I consider very high quality and that I'm almost completely satisfied with.  But it took me almost 50 friggin years to get here!!  
     I understand I could have certainly expedited this process if I had access to a great resource like Audiogon along the way, but I didn't even discover and join this site until 2013.  I know I've accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience along my a/v journey, however, and I'm glad to be able to share my limited lessons learned along the way with others; as well as to keep learning from the many knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic fellow travelers here. 
     I've learned a lot here on Audiogon that influenced my systems since 2013:  that some class D amps were actually very good, constantly improving and worth a try, that some good quality interconnects and power cords actually are beneficial to overall sound quality and that one member in particular, audiokinesis, is an expert on getting very good bass performance in virtually any room. 
     I think of this Audiogon virtual meeting place as somewhat like the bar in Cheers. It's a demographically and temperamentally diverse and interesting collection of characters/loiterers that share a common interest.  No, not drinking, high quality audio/video. I'll leave it up to you guys and gals to decide which members represent which characters from Cheers.
     Thank you, baclagg, for a very nice post!  I don't think any of us will stop posting anytime soon.  We  can't, we're just as enthusiastic about, and hopelessly addicted to, this enjoyable hobby as you seem to be.

I'd bet at least 70 percent of what I know of audio came directly from discussions here ... maybe 80.  

Would have never come across names like Odyssey Audio, Rogue or Tekton without you guys ... or Salk!

Yeah, there's some BS ya have to sift through but that's fun too!
I’ve found this site immensely helpful, overall. I agree with several of the posters' observations about what they learned from the experienced and, in some cases, highly educated (e.g. almarg, RIP) members here.

Here’s what I’ve especially liked, here:

Expert advice. Some of my questions are really specific -- e.g. I had one about electrical outlets with reversed polarity. That lead to a week of me testing outlets, reporting voltages, and getting advice. Wow. Can’t buy tailored help like that.

Friendship. Not being corny. I’ve reached out via direct message to posters here who responded kindly and with helpful, specific answers to my specific questions. They have direct messaged or emailed me with further advice. I believe I have made a couple genuine friends, here. That’s something I am really grateful for.

Understanding of the hobby. I’ve gotten a good sense of where the divisions of opinion are -- vinyl vs. digital, etc. While these questions have not been settled for me, it’s given me an MRI as to where the important issues are.

Connection with an older generation. I’m in my 50s. Most of my friends are, too. My parents are in their 90s and my kids are teens. But here on Audiogon, many are 10+ years older than me. I appreciate hearing what they think, where their journey has taken them, and I have learned from their memories of an audio age (e.g. the 1970’s) when I was just learning about audio but not able to afford much or pay that much attention.

There is snark, put-downs, weird tales of elaborate conspiracies, unfounded claims, and myopic advice. There is a lot of repetition of questions. But amidst this forgettable noise there is all the good signal, and I keep coming back. I like it here.